Goran Dragic leaves Raptors because of personal matter
Goran Dragic has left the Toronto Raptors because of a personal matter. The Raptors said Sunday before their game against Boston Celtics that the 35-year-old guard — acquired along with Precious Achiuwa in the offseason deal that sent Kyle Lowry to Miami — wasn’t with the team. Dragic, from Slovenia, has played in just five games with the Raptors, averaging 8.0 points, 1.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds and 17.9 minutes.news.yahoo.com
Column: Top 5 coaches in the NBA right now
Nick NurseIn his first season as the new head coach for the Toronto Raptors, Nick Nurse led the Raptors to win their first NBA championship in franchise history. Gregg PopovichFew people would dispute the claim that Gregg Popovich is the greatest NBA coach of all time. Steve KerrSteve Kerr is without a doubt the most successful NBA coach in recent years. During his time as Miami’s head coach, Spoelstra has only missed the playoffs three times out of twelve seasons. In a recent survey regarding the 2021-22 season, NBA general managers named Erik Spoelstra the best head coach.themiamihurricane.com
Raptors' Nurse fined $50,000 for mask-throwing, profanity
Nurse was upset at the end of Toronto's 115-112 loss to the Utah Jazz, a game in which the Jazz took 41 free throws, compared with the Raptors' 14. After the game, Nurse said it “just didn’t seem like they were going to let us win tonight,” without offering specifics. The 27-shot difference in free throw attempts between the teams was the second largest in the NBA this season, topped by the 28-shot difference Houston had over Golden State on Wednesday. Entering Sunday, the Raptors were shooting 4.5 free throws per game fewer than opponents this season, the second-largest disparity in the league. Ad___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Raptors-Pistons postponed, tentatively set for Wednesday
TAMPA, Fla. – Toronto's game against Detroit that was scheduled for Tuesday is being postponed until Wednesday, a move that the NBA hopes gives the Raptors time to get back onto the floor. The Raptors were scheduled to play Chicago on Sunday and that game was postponed indefinitely because of positive tests and contact tracing issues. The league cautioned that Wednesday is a tentative rescheduling date for the game against the Pistons, and is “pending additional test results." Tuesday's game becomes the 31st postponed this season because at least one team was unable to play in accordance with the league's health and safety policies related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Raptors have been without coach Nick Nurse and five other staff members since late last week because of virus-related issues.
Raptors' virus issues worsen, game vs. Bulls called off
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)The Toronto Raptors’ issues with the coronavirus have worsened, prompting the NBA to call off their game scheduled for Sunday night against the Chicago Bulls. Toronto played Friday without head coach Nick Nurse, several other assistants and staffers and starting forward Pascal Siakam because of virus-related issues. The Raptors-Bulls game is the 30th to be postponed so far this season because of COVID-19 testing or contact tracing. All NBA players and coaches are tested daily. During the season's second half, which runs from March 10 through May 16, the Raptors and Bulls share 19 days without a game on their schedules.
The Latest: U.S. FDA approves J&J single-shot vaccine
This July 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine. ___BISMARCK, N.D. — Nearly 10% of residents in North Dakota have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 981,000 Indiana residents have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 552,241 are fully vaccinated. ___RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian government announced a 12-day lockdown in the Israeli-occupied West Bank after a surge in coronavirus cases, including new variants. ___WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation has continued on a downward trend in the number of daily coronavirus cases.
Depleted Raptors hand Rockets 10th straight loss
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)TAMPA, Fla. – Norman Powell scored 30 points, Kyle Lowry had a triple-double and the depleted Toronto Raptors beat the Houston Rockets 122-111 on Friday night. AdLowry had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to help the Raptors hand the Rockets their 10th straight loss. Victor Oladipo led the Rockets with 27 points, and John Wall had 21 points and 12 assists. TIP-INSRockets: The last time the Rockets lost 10 straight games was Nov. 23-Dec. 20, 2001 during a 15-game losing streak. Raptors: The Raptors have not been involved in any of the NBA's 29 coronavirus postponements so far this season.
Virus sidelines Raptors coaches, Siakam for Rockets game
Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse talks to players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Minneapolis. Assistant coach Sergio Scariolo was promoted to coach the team's game in Tampa, Florida, against the Rockets. Scariolo had been away from the Raptors while coaching Spain in FIBA's EuroBasket 2022 qualifiers and just cleared quarantine Friday. Ad“I don't know how many hundreds or thousands of games he's been a head coach," Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said about Scariolo. Webster said the team isn't certain if Siakam's issue is related to the issue with the coaching staff.
More NBA games off, as league continues struggles with virus
(AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)Another three NBA games were postponed Friday, including one in Minnesota only a couple hours before game time, as the league's struggle with increasing coronavirus numbers continued. The Timberwolves' game with the Memphis Grizzlies was called off, as were what would have been Wizards' home games Sunday and Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Washington has seen four of its games pushed back, Boston and Phoenix have had three postponements. The NBA said earlier this week that 16 players tested positive in recent days, which was more than the NBA had seen in the last five weeks combined. The NBA gave Orlando coach Steve Clifford a call recently, telling him he had to do a better job of keeping his mask on during games.
Sports in 2020: Disruptions aplenty, only constant was loss
FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2020, file photo, the Olympic rings for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 pass by on a barge by tugboats off the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo. Tokyo Olympic officials said Thursday, Dec. 24, they have reached a basic agreement with all 68 domestic sponsors to extend their contracts into next year to support the postponed Games. Facing increasingly long odds, some mega-events — the Olympics, March Madness, the Boston Marathon and Wimbledon — pushed the starting line into 2021. … Continue to push (against) everything that’s the opposite of love.”If only for a moment, the pandemic receded into the background. “If we can continue to do that, all of us,” James concluded, “America would be a much better place.”
We The South: The Raptors settling into their Tampa home
The Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat tip off to start during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. The Raptors are playing their home games in Tampa as a result of Canada's strict travel regulations stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Familiarity is where we thrive,” said Teresa Resch, the Raptors’ vice president of basketball operations and one of the guiding forces behind the team’s move to Tampa. “The Toronto Raptors and their fans will not be disappointed here in Tampa Bay,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor saidThe last time Tampa was on the NBA’s schedule prior to this season was in 2010, when Miami and Orlando were supposed to meet there in a preseason game. At least 17 times in the next 2 ½ months, the Raptors will be calling a court in Tampa home.
Popovich knows filling US Olympic roster may be a challenge
And when presented with this potential scheduling conundrum, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich — who will coach USA Basketball men’s national team at the next Olympics — came up with a very quick, very lighthearted solution. “I don’t think we’re going to let the finals go seven games,” Popovich said. Popovich will be head coach of the Olympic team for the first time, succeeding Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “The Olympics is always on my mind, just as Coach K told me it would be,” Popovich said Tuesday. The 2016 Olympic team was picked about six weeks before the start of the Rio Games, allowing time for a training camp and exhibitions before heading to Brazil.
Bjorkgren describes plan to take Pacers in new direction
INDIANAPOLIS – New Indiana Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren went right to work Wednesday. Less than 24 hours after accepting the job, the 45-year-old former Toronto Raptors assistant started explaining his plan. “There are people in this world who bring energy and you like being around them," Pritchard said after introducing Bjorkgren on a Zoom call. But the first-time NBA head coach certainly presented a different kind of vision, one Pacers fans may embrace after watching years of stodgy, half-court basketball. Bjorkgren developed his coaching style working largely with Raptors coach Nick Nurse.
Indiana Pacers tab Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as coach
On Tuesday, president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard found his man in Toronto assistant Nate Bjorkgren. “Nate is the right coach for us at the right time,” Pritchard said in a statement released by the team. He comes to Indiana after spending two seasons as an assistant on Nick Nurse’s staff in Toronto. There, Bjorkgren helped the Raptors capture their first NBA championship in 2018-19 and was part of a team that earned the Eastern Conference’s No. “We all look forward to a long, successful partnership in helping the Pacers move forward,” Pritchard said,.
Steve Kerr and other top NBA coaches are offering virtual coaching during the pandemic
On Thursday, virtual coaching platform eCoach announced the launch of training videos from more than 40 of the NBA's most elite head and assistant coaches. Coaches including Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr, Toronto Raptors Coach Nick Nurse and Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers are sharing shooting tips and their coaching expertise to players of all levels. "We're just really looking for ways to spread coaching and instruction to people who wouldn't otherwise be able to get it, especially from NBA coaches," Kerr told CNBC in an interview this week. eCoach's partnership with the National Basketball Coaches Association allows not just access to top coaches but also access to NBA game footage to drill in key points and show their teachings in action. "We believe that for coaches, this is a perfect way to communicate the game during this unusual period of time," Rick Carlisle, head coach of the Dallas Mavericks and president of the National Basketball Coaches Association told CNBC.cnbc.com
Silver to CNN: A later NBA season may disrupt Olympic plans
“The goal for us next season is to play a standard season ... an 82-game season and playoffs. A typical NBA season has a regular season that lasts for nearly six months, followed by about a two-month postseason. The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics are set to begin July 23 and run through Aug. 8 — if those games are held. “And, obviously, there are many NBA players who participate in the Olympics for other countries. The U.S. roster for the Tokyo Olympics will be 12 players; there were another 34 players competing for other countries at the Rio Olympics as well.
Raptors sign coach Nick Nurse to multiyear extension
Toronto Raptors' head coach Nick Nurse directs his team during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game with the Boston Celtics Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Nick Nurse would have been in the final year of his contract next season. The Toronto Raptors weren’t about to let that happen with their coach. Nurse and the Raptors announced a multiyear extension Tuesday, without divulging the terms. In his two seasons with Toronto, Nurse won the 2019 NBA championship and led the Raptors to more wins than any team in the league over that span. “Our confidence in Nick just continues to grow, and part of that comes from what we’ve experienced together,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said.
At home, on the road or at Disney, James is tough to beat
Earlier in this postseason, he also became the all-time leader in playoff road wins. For the first time in NBA history, road teams have a winning record through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Lakers are 3-0 in the playoffs as the road team so far, which has pushed James total for road playoff wins to 65 two more than Tim Duncan managed in his two decades with San Antonio. Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. The difference was the supporting casts, and Rajon Rondos 21 points and nine assists were enormous for the Lakers.
NBA will allow team staff to bring guests to Disney bubble
Those guests could then enter the so-called bubble at Walt Disney World on Sept. 21, about a week before the scheduled start of the NBA Finals. Some players were able to bring family into the bubble following quarantines and other health certifications starting on Aug. 31. Other coaches, such as Denvers Michael Malone and Miamis Erik Spoelstra, have spoken out publicly about their hope that the league would allow team staff to have the opportunity to bring family into the bubble. The cost, $550 each day for each guest, would have to be covered by the team or individual staff member. And as is the case with player guests, including children, none of the staff guests will be able to leave the NBAs bubble.
Raptors beat Celtics 100-93 to even East semifinals at 2-2
Two days after winning Game 3 on OG Anunobys 3-pointer as time expired, the Raptors didnt need any big shots. Jayson Tatum had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. 7-UPWhen Lowry and Brown fouled each other, it caused some headaches for the public address announcer, who mixed up his No. When Brown fouled Lowry in the first quarter, he announced the foul was on Lowry, saying my bad after a moment of confusion. Lowry hacked Brown in the second and it was announced as a foul on the Celtics player.
OG for 3: Anunoby beats buzzer to lift Raptors over Celtics
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Facing the absolute brink, the Toronto Raptors suddenly have life. OG Anunoby caught a crosscourt inbounds pass from Kyle Lowry and hit a 3-pointer with no time remaining, and the Raptors beat the Boston Celtics 104-103 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night. The Celtics took a two-point lead when Kemba Walker found Daniel Theis for a dunk with a half-second left. Theis score left Toronto needing a miracle. When Siakam took a seat for the rest of the half, Toronto trailed 38-37.
Raptors-Celtics prep for Game 4, Nuggets-Clippers for Game 2
Game 4 of Celtics-Raptors is Saturday night, followed by Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal matchup between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers. Leonards shot became iconic because the Raptors won it all. He played most of the first quarter and then the entirety of the final three quarters of Game 3 without a rest. The 46:29 of court time was the most by any player in a non-overtime game this season. INJURY WATCH: It was a good sign for the Clippers that Patrick Beverley (calf) not only returned to the lineup in Game 1 but reported after the game that he felt fine.
A 2nd day of NBA playoff games halted over racial injustice
And other athletes across the sports world also said they weren't ready to resume playing. A second night of WNBA games were postponed and other teams and sports pondered whether they would play on. This is a affirmatively day of reflection, a day of informed action and mobilization, WNBA players union president Nneka Ogwumike said on ESPN. NBA players agreed to resume their season in July at Disney, making clear they intended to chase social justice reform just as passionately as a championship. They ultimately decided that playing would give them the largest platform while also providing a bigger target for critics.
Celtics build 40-point lead, roll past Raptors 122-100
And Celtics coach Brad Stevens is already making it clear if that happens, a blowout win over the Raptors now won't mean anything then. Jaylen Brown scored 20 points, Jayson Tatum added 18 and the Celtics never trailed on the way to an emphatic 122-100 win over the Raptors on Friday night. It was 91-57 entering the fourth, and the Raptors went with subs the rest of the way. Raptors: Toronto needs one win in its final four games for a fifth consecutive 50-win season. The Raptors missed nine of their first 10 shots on the way to a 12-2 early deficit, setting the tone.
NBA time zone: body clocks get a reset inside the bubble
Game days are marked by a morning shootaround, afternoon nap and then the actual contest in early evening. With 22 teams at Walt Disney World sharing facilities, things are on a precise schedule and that means its far from business as usual. Its just all the different times are a little different because we usually set our own times for practice, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. So, on game days, whether tip-off is early or late, the Raptors -- like every team in the bubble -- have at least some experience playing at that time and can set their body clocks accordingly. Stotts reference to tonight came in a pregame interview, at 11:19 a.m.___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The NBA MVP finalists: Antetokounmpo, James and Harden
A trio of past winners of the award reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, four-time MVP LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and 2017-18 winner James Harden of the Houston Rockets were announced Saturday as the finalists for this seasons top NBA individual honor. Antetokounmpo is bidding to become the 12th back-to-back winner of the award, and Harden is vying for his second MVP in three seasons. The other finalists for NBA honors:Rookie of the Year Ja Morant, Memphis; Kendrick Nunn, Miami; Zion Williamson, New Orleans. Sixth Man Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers; Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City; Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers. Defensive Player of the Year Antetokounmpo; Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers; Rudy Gobert, Utah.
Lowry scores 33 to lead Raptors to 11th straight over Lakers
They havent lost to Los Angeles since the 2014-2015 season. Lowry had a strong second half to help turn back a surge by the Lakers, the Western Conference leaders who are 1-1 in the restart. With James and Davis struggling, the Raptors jumped to a 13-0 lead behind Anunoby and Lowry before the Lakers got back into it behind their bench. The Lakers reserves outscored the Raptors 13-2 in the first quarter and 31-6 in the first half to help Los Angeles to a 44-41 halftime lead. Raptors: Torontos last regular-season game was March 9 at Utah, when it completed a five-game Western Conference road trip.
NBA teams on the cusp of having real practices again
If the four-month NBA shutdown had a silver lining, its that a lot of ailing players got well. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)Practice facilities in the NBA have been open for a couple of months, with one major element missing from them. That changes starting Thursday, when the first handful of teams at the Disney complex will be permitted to have full-fledged practices again. Most NBA coaches DAntoni, Budenholzer, Dallas Rick Carlisle and more are going into this believing that plans have to be flexible. And, you know, were looking forward to wrapping this up and getting on that plane.___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
NBA gives teams, players more detailed schedule for restart
But with those mattters apparently far enough along to determine a schedule of sorts, the league gave teams the go-ahead to immediately start allowing two assistant coaches to deal with voluntary player workouts. The rule had been one coach with one player since teams were given the green light to re-open facilities for the voluntary workouts last month. That would be the first day players on the 22 teams that will be going to the Disney campus would be required to undergo coronavirus testing conducted by those teams. Those teams can keep their facilities open for now for voluntary workouts until told otherwise. The scrimmages will be scheduled by the NBA and will have NBA referees.
Kerr, Nurse among NBA coaches wondering about Olympic plans
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)Golden State coach Steve Kerr was supposed to be in Tokyo for the Olympics this summer. Then again, Kerr isn't certain if he or anyone else from the NBA will be there at all. FIBA pushed back the dates for the four remaining qualifying tournaments to June 29 through July 4, 2021, meaning they would end 19 days before the rescheduled start of the delayed Tokyo Olympics. Toronto coach Nick Nurse is scheduled to coach Canada in that qualifying tournament and, he hopes, the Olympics. Nurse, Popovich and Kerr surely arent the only coaches wondering on this point.
Raptors still have decisions to make before NBA restarts
Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse yells toward players during the second half of his team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, Thursday, March 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)The Toronto Raptors have an NBA championship to defend, a very long stay at the Disney complex awaiting them and plenty of unanswered questions on how the restart of the season will work. Teams are expected at Disney around July 7, though the expectation is that the league will permit practices before that date. And if the Raptors choose to have a training camp in the U.S. beforehand, that would obviously add a few more days to their away-from-home total. Teams have not played since the NBA suspended the season March 11 because of coronavirus concerns.